Am I Messy or Disorganized? What's the Difference?
There's a difference between being messy and being disorganized. In today's blog post, I answer a common question about what separates messiness from general disorganization. Can you guess the answer?
What's considered messy: a few papers on the kitchen counter, a closet full of coats, boots, and hats ready to explode, toys all over your kid's room?
There is a difference between being messy and being disorganized. For example, I am an organized person, but my house can get quite messy! It happens to us all. The difference is that, as an organized person, everything in my house has a home, and so cleaning up the mess shouldn’t take too long.
Although I’m not a minimalist, I don't have a lot of clutter sitting around my home that doesn’t have a place to live.
Everyone has stuff. We are a society that prides itself on possessions - we try and find room for family heirlooms, kid artwork, memorabilia, books - even things from garage sales that other people deem unimportant. The catch is to not let your piles of clutter turn into chaos.
So yes, a few piles of paper on a kitchen table constitutes being "messy" but as long as they have a home elsewhere, you are okay. The closet full of coats - that may be a different story. In the case where there are too many items to fit within a certain boundary (like the size of a closet or bookshelf), that is when decluttering is needed.
ICD has developed the Clutter-Hoarding Scale as a residential observation tool used to give professional organizers parameters related to clutter measurement. There are five categories of clutter-hoarding and also five progressive levels that help measure the degree of household clutter and/or hoarding. Level 1 is the lowest, Level 5 is the highest, and Level 3 is considered the pivot point between a house that an organizer might assess as "cluttered" versus "in need of deeper consideration."